Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless?

I want to give a dear friend a cookbook for her birthday. She's traveled extensively in Mexico and pines for its foods. She is an accomplished cook but has no cookbook with authentic recipes. Which should I give her? Feel free to make other suggestions!

  • 4423 views
  • 10 Comments

10 Comments

paseo May 5, 2013
I am with Nancy - be a great friend and give her both. Bayless is great for usability (some of us live in a US Mexican food wasteland) and DIana Kennedy is hard to beat for authenticity but can be dogmatic (in a good way). AndI think they complement each other well.
 
Nancy H. May 5, 2013
Why not give her both? They are both excellent, both in terms of their understanding of Mexican cuisines and in their ability to convey information to the non-expert reader. Both cookbooks and a package of some super-wonderful dried chili peppers as a decoration on the outside of your gift wrapping.
 
Nancy H. May 5, 2013
Why not give her both? They are both excellent, both in terms of their understanding of Mexican cuisines and in their ability to convey information to the non-expert reader. Both cookbooks and a package of some super-wonderful dried chili peppers as a decoration on the outside of your gift wrapping.
 
pierino May 4, 2013
For a couple of gabachos Kennedy and Bayless are great on their research and the authenticity. They've plunged into the different regions of Mexico and brought back the real thing. Mexican food this side of the border is equally regional depending on whether you are in Texas, New Mexico or Southern California. Just for reading purposes (no recipes) check out TACO USA by my compadre and home boy Gustavo Arellano. The level of research and scholarship that went into writing about tacos and burritos is absolutely incredible. And he's really funny too.
 
healthierkitchen May 4, 2013
Not to complicate things further, but I got Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez last year after reading about it here in the Piglet and I've loved what I've tried so far. I also really like Pati Jinich's new book.
 
boulangere May 4, 2013
If she knows Mexico and its regional cuisines well, I'd go with Diana Kennedy. Information she has gleaned from natives and locals is priceless.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

mrslarkin May 4, 2013
Either! They are equally awesome.
 
Stephanie G. May 4, 2013
Personally, i'm really enjoying Gran Cocina Latina, by Maricel Presilla. I probably didn't spell her name right.
 
Kristen W. May 4, 2013
I don't have any of Diana Kennedy's books but I do have some of Rick Bayless's, and I love, love, love them. His recipes -- even the simpler ones -- without fail produce incredible depth of flavor.
 
dymnyno May 4, 2013
I like them both and have a lot of books from both authors. Diana Kennedy's OAXACA AL GUSTO is gorgeous. The photography is stunning.
 
Recommended by Food52